Count Your Rainbows: 7 More Irish Heroes

 

I know with all that’s happening today in the world, it probably feels like we are in a giant hurricane but when things get low, that’s when we have to think about-what are we thankful for-it’s the only bright thing that can keep us going in the dark times. I don’t know what all of you have going on in your life, but I hope there is at least one rainbow in your life.

So today is Saint Patrick’s Day and I have previously been doing 17 heroes, but last year I switched to 7-it’s just easier.

They are just random, coming from books, films, or TV shows that I happened to read or watch throughout the year. So let’s get started with this year’s picks:

7) Clara Kelly from Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

Clara is an Irish immigrant traveling to America. When she reaches the shores and steals a dead girl of the same name’s job, she finds herself working as a maid in Andrew Carnegie’s mansion. The two grow closer and closer together-will Clara recieve a Cinderella ending, will she remain “downstairs”, or will her life take another path?

This was an engrossing novel as it presents an interesting view of immigration, the life of a servant, the Gilded Age, and the duality of one of America’s most impressive businessmen. I highly recommend it.

Why Clara is awesome:

Clara is an amazing character full of grit and bravery as she travels across the ocean alone with no clue what will await her on the other side. When she sees an opportunity, she grabs it and becomes a maid in the Carnegie household. She’s intelligent, loves to read, has great business sense, and can hold her own against Carnegie. I liked that this book didn’t have a typical “romantic ending”, and I really enjoyed the way Clara went as I felt that any other ending wouldn’t have been as good.

6) Keara Buckley from Together in Pinecone Patch by Thomas F. Yezerski

In this picture book poor families from Ireland and Poland travel to the United States for a better life. They end up in Pinecone Patch, Pennsylvania (a mining town), and live a harder life than what was promised. The only thing that makes them feel better is to pick on the other race. But could that all change when Irish Keara Buckley and Polish Stefan Pazik become friends?

Why Keara Buckley is awesome:

Keara is awesome as while she starts off the story making fun of Stefan, but when he says something nice to her one day-everything changes for her. Afterwards she invites him into her home for tea, and begin having tea and talking to him every day. When the two fall in love and decide to marry-she ignores the racism of her parents and the town, and continues to see him and marry him anyway.

5) Tommin from The Gold-Son by Carrie Ann Noble

It is the 19th century, and all 16-year old Tommin wants to do in life is make shoes and take care of his grandmother. Unfortunately, he is constantly getting into trouble as he can’t stop himself from stealing items. When he can’t help himself one day, he finds he picked the wrong pocket as he tried to steal a leprechaun’s gold and gets himself kidnapped. Underground he and Lorcan’s “niece” are trained in being magic “gold-children” as Lorcan the leprechaun has a huge evil plan. The gold children try to escape from underground, but when they finally reach the surface they discover years have gone by-and they are now in the 21st century. Can they survive the “real” world after magic? Besides that, Lorcan is not easily defeated and he will not let his evil plan be stopped by time or distance…

Why Tommin is awesome:

Tommin is an incredibly sweet boy with a kind heart that is doing the best he can. He wants to help his grandma out, he wants to do the right thing, but he has this weakness he can’t stop. Even underground in the Leprechaun land, he tries hard. His soft, sweet, sensitive soul-is a perfect foil for the other main character Eve-who is hard, tough, and steely.

For more on The Gold-Songo to Shame Book Tag

4) Alvirah Meehan from The Lottery Winner & Other Stories by Mary Higgins Clark

Alvirah and Willy are just average people-a cleaning lady and plumber-from Flushings, NY who win the lottery. They take the money and make a few changes-new clothes, new place to live-but the biggest changes are that Alvirah starts crime solving. It seems she has a knack for it-wherever she and her husband go.

Why Alvirah is awesome:

Alvirah is one of those people that you can dress up in $10000 dresses and she’ll stay exactly the same. Which is a reason why I love her! She is kind, fun, caring, hilarious, intelligent, resourceful, and solves countless crimes. She is willing to do anything to help anyone and is just all around one of the best “cozy mystery” sleuth characters that have ever been created. If you haven’t read this yet, then you need to.

For more from Mary Higgins Clarkgo to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

3) Father Malone from The Fog (1980)

Antonio Bay, CA is celebrating its 100th anniversary, but what should be a day of fun and food-turns out to be one of nightmares as an unearthly fog rolls into the town, ghosts descend on the town, strange occurrences occur, and people are murdered. Can they stop the fog? Or when it lifts will all be dead?

Why Father Malone is awesome:

Father Malone isn’t a big part, but I found him to be truly memorable. He discovers a journal from the priest in the parish 100 years ago and the truth of the night and the founding fathers-he wants to reveal the truth but is outvoted. Later when the ghosts attack, he does all he can to help and care for his people. I love at the end when the ghosts attack and he brings the cross out, begging the ghosts to spare everyone and take him instead. Like none of the others were likable but him and he planned on sacrificing himself for others, to set things right.

For more on The Fog (1980)go to There’s Something in the Fog!: The Fog (1980)

2) Charles Adare from Under Capricorn TV Series (1983)

So this is a remake of the Under Capricorn (1949) movie, and I liked the original better (you all probably saw that coming) except-I preferred Charles Adare in this version.

Charles Adare has traveled from Ireland to Australia as his family’s fortune has depleted and he’s heard that fortunes can be made quickly in Australia. He meets Samuel Flusky, a former convict turned wealthy man, and enters a business deal with him. He is invited to their house for dinner and meets Flusky’s wife, Lady Henrietta-someone he knows from his childhood. He grew up with her being close friends with his older sister, until she ran off with the stablehand. Henrietta has had a hard time of it, and Charles tries his best to bring her back to her old self-but there are dark forces at work. Someone wants to get rid of Henrietta-will Charles be able to help her?

Why Charles Adare is awesome:

So in this version Charles is not romantically interested in Henrietta at all, but is only helping her because he remembers how beautiful, elegant, and graceful she was-and wants to get her back to her former glory. He works on her-getting her to remember how things were done, tells her what duties she is supposed to do-but breaks it down, step-by-step so she can regain who she was. He provides the upper class she was used to, memories of old, and with him being from her hometown that she can never return to, it’s like having a little bit of home again. He also being from an upper class family knows how Henrietta should be treated and picks up on the power plays happening between her and the staff-along with picking out the ones who are against Henrietta.

For more from Under Capricorn, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

1) Detective Lieutenant John McClane from the Die Hard Series

So I had wanted to include him last year, but when I looked up McClane it said it was a Scottish name. However, in Die Hard 3: Die Hard with a Vengeance, Simon Gruber called Jon McClane “an Irish flatfoot” so I guess he is Irish, not Scottish, and that means I get to add him.

John and his wife have been having problems-he’s a cop in NYC and she has a high ranking job at the Nakatomi company in LA. He is coming out this Christmas to try and mend fences-see if they will stay together or end the marriage. But Nakatomi Christmas party is invaded by German terrorists/bank robbers. McClane the only one who can do anything, but can he stop them?

In Die Hard 2, it’s another Christmas but this time John has to face off against ex-military, a dictator from another country, and trying to save the airport and the plane coming in-the one that his wife is on. In Die Hard 3 John is back in NYC, he’s suspended, but brought in when a madman threatens NYC, and wants John to solve his riddles to stop him from blowing up the city. Live Free or Die Hard McClane is sent to pick up hacker Matt Farrell and keep him alive and in A Good Day to Die Hard McClane heads to Russia to help his son, an undercover CIA agent.

Why John McClane is awesome:

John McClane is an amazing tough guy, who is extremely intelligent, resourceful, and can take any situation thrown at him and try to turn it to his advantage. He’s quick witted, easily pieces things together, and just awesome as he takes the terrorists and any villain out. He’s not great with his words (like sharing how he feels), but he would do anything to protect his family. We see in film after film-that he puts his life and body on the line (blood, sweat, and tears) in order to keep them alive and well.

So that ends my list for this year. You all know what I’ll be doing with the rest of my day. Eating some Irish soda bread I made (although there is not much left). Unfortunately, thanks to Disney+ I cannot continue my yearly tradition of watching the Disney Channel Original Movie: The Luck of the Irish as they took it off Youtube.

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So I’ll have to choose another Irish themed film…good thing I have a few to choose from with all these past lists! (Counting them rainbows!) I hope you all have a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day!

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For the 2013 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes 

For the 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2017 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2018 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Top O’ the Morning: 7 More Irish Heroes

For the 2019 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Kissing the Blarney Stone: 7 More Irish Heroes

I Would Suffer Anything to Save You: Under Capricorn (1949)

Romantic Moment #11

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Under Capricorn (1949)

So I know it is a little weird to talk about an Alfred Hitchcock film when we are counting down to Valentine’s Day, but hey, he manages to have some real romantic moments thrown in his films.

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This film takes place in early 19th Century Australia. Australia has formerly been a place where England sent their criminals. After they served out their sentence they could remain or return home to England. Now however, more and more “good” citizens have found themselves emigrating to Australia and civilizing the towns. The new Governor, Sir Richard arrives, bringing along his foppish, indolent, “rich boy” nephew, Charles Adare. Charles meets, Samson “Sam” Flusky, (Joseph Cotten) an ex-convict, former murderer, and prospering land owner.

Under Capricorn

Samson intrigues Charles in a business deal and brings Charles to his house, in which he meets Sam’s wife, Lady Henrietta (Ingrid Bergman), who turns out to be an old family friend.

Under Capricorn Dining eating

Charles soon spends all his time at the house and finds something strange about Henrietta’s actions, as she is no longer the same woman he knew. As with all Alfred Hitchcock films, there is suspense, mystery, and an old secret’s truth is revealed.

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Most Romantic Moment: I Will Suffer to Protect You

***Spoiler Warning***

Now if my little synopsis has encouraged you to watch the film, then stop reading. If you aren’t interested in watching the film, proceed.

So at first we think that maybe Samson is evil or cruel as all we see is a tough, gruff man. But in the end we realize that Samson has been through so much because he loves his wife.

From Under Capricorn

From Under Capricorn

Sam was a stableboy and fell in love with the Lord’s daughter, Henrietta and the two eloped. Henrietta’s brother came to take her back and kill Sam, but Henrietta killed him instead.

Not wanting his wife to suffer, he chose to take the blame, picking Australia and going to jail for her sake.

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He then does all he can to make money and a good life for Henrietta, not caring how people treat him, view him, or the names they call him. As long as he can protect his wife he is happy.

Aw!

Aw!

How romantic and incredibly sweet!

So romantic!

So romantic!

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For the previous post, go to I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

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For more on Under Capricorn, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more on Samson Flusky, go to The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to You’re a Detective, Let Me Give You a Tip. Don’t Wave Important Evidence in a Telephone Booth. They Have Glass Windows: Blackmail (1929)

For more on Joseph Cotten, go to You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

For more Ingrid Bergman, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

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“The past of a man it is something.”

Now this is an Alfred Hitchcock film that is not as well known or talked about, for various reasons. A lot of people think the story is too melodramatic, and others don’t like it because certain elements resemble Rebecca and Gaslight. However, the reason why most people at the time hated it was it came out right after the news of Ingrid Bergman’s affair with Roberto Rossellini, the impeding divorce of her husband Dr. Petter Aron Lindström, and the birth of her twins by Rossellini. (To read more on that go here.) I on the other hand really liked this movie as I love:

  1. Alfred Hitchcock
  2. Ingrid Bergman
  3. Joseph Cotten

Really now, how can you ever think this was horrible?

MeanGirls I know right!

The title “Under Capricorn” references the Tropic of Capricorn, which bisects Australia. As you can tell now that I’ve explained the title, the film is set in Sydney, Australia during the 19th century.

So before we get into the film, we need to touch on the background history. In the 18th-19th century, England tried to discover a better way to deal with the mass amount of criminal activity and overcrowding jail cells. One thing that England did was hanging. However, people began to get upset about that. Some of the crimes were not really all that bad, but yet people were being given the death penalty. In order to have a harsh punishment, less-crowded jails, and less death-transportation became the way to go. Originally convicts were sent America, but with our revolution in 1776, that option was no longer possible. In the 1780s they started sending people to New South Wales, but with the Napoleonic wars, more labor was needed and they stopped the transportation.

After the war, problems arose again and they turned their attention to Australia. Between 1788-1868, they estimate about 165,000 people were sent Australia from a sentence that was usually 3 years to life (average was 7-14 years). Most people who were sent over were guilty of poaching, arson, robbery, and murder.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

They were usually sent to extremely remote areas to prevent escape and discourage any attempt at returning. While it was allowed for people to return after they served their sentence, most people wouldn’t. More often than not they would create a better life in Australia. Typically, criminals would change their names, get land, farm, and create a brand new life for themselves.

This ended in the 1860s, although it had started to drop off by the 1830s. Most of the areas that were for “convicts”, began to become real towns and attracted better emigrants. (Most of this info came from the Victorian Crime and Punishment website, if you would like to check it out)

Now back to the story.

Under Capricorn

So it is 1831 in Sydney, Australia. Sydney is still a frontier with most of the population being ex-convicts. The new Governor, Sir Richard arrives, bringing along his foppish, indolent, “rich boy” nephew, Charles Adare (Michael Wilding).

It's one of those guys!

It’s one of those guys!

So Charles is hoping that he will make a fortune out here in Australia. While there he meets the gruff Samson Flusky. Samson is a convict that had been transported from Ireland out to Australia to serve his time, for murder.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

But now he is a successful buisnessman. He owns a lot of land and makes a lot of dough. He is highly respected in the community.

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Anyways, so Samson has now reached the legal limit of land he can purchase and needs to look to new ways in order to expand his business. He wants Charles to purchase the land and sell it to Samson, guaranteeing a good profit.

Under Capricorn

Charles is intrigued by the prospect and agree to the invitation of dining at Samson’s house. While there, he has a pleasant surprise. He knows Samson’s wife, Lady Henrietta (Ingrid Bergman).

Under Capricorn Dining eating

She was friends with Charles’ sister but now has encountered a lot of problems. She is an alcoholic and shunned by society as she is seen to be crazy.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

Sam decides to invite Charles to visit as much as he wants, hoping it will help bring his wife out of her current depression.

Now Charles has always had a crush on Henrietta and is confused at her crazed behavior and decline. He asks his uncle about what happened to her. Lady Henrietta was the daughter of one of the fine Irish gentry. To the surprise of everyone, she ran off with one of the handsome stable boys, Samson, to elope in England. Lady Henrietta’s brother went after them and was killed by Samson. Instead of the noose, Samson decided to go to Australia.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Lady Henrietta followed him to Australia and waited seven years for the term to end. After Samson served his years, he was different. He wanted to be rich and to buy everything, but that was never enough. Henrietta was extremely unhappy and began drinking.

Sadface Batman

Now unbeknownst to all, Samson’s housekeeper Milly has a crush on him.

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She has been running the house and secretly feeding Lady Henrietta alcohol. She is hoping that Henrietta will kill herself, leaving Samson all to Milly.

perfect plan

Charles decides to help try and restore Henrietta’s confidence. At Sam’s urging, he moves into their home. But that’s not all he’s interested in. He has always found Henrietta to be attractive, and now she is vulnerable and needy. He begins to pursue her.

Under Capricorn Kiss

Charles’ work has been going great. In fact, Henrietta gains enough courage to try and take the power back from Milly and put her in her proper place as housekeeper, not wife. Milly turns things around and Henrietta runs up to her room and locks herself in. Charles goes in to talk to her and Milly sees them. She tries to use it to her advantage, telling Sam all kinds of lies about their behavior. This angers Sam, who kicks her right out of the house. (Sam you rock! I always had a soft spot for Sam. I don’t know if it was because he was played by Joseph Cotten or because he just seems like a great guy who has been mistreated.)

Under capricorn

Henrietta is doing much better, and improving more and more each day. In fact she is doing so well, that when she receives an invitation to the Governor’s Ball, she is eager to go. They all get ready, but Sam decides to not go after all. He had purchased a ruby necklace for her, but after overhearing how Henrietta and Charles don’t consider ruby to be the right accessory, he decides not to give it to her. You see Sam has enjoyed having Charles there as he has helped his wife, but at the same time it has been upsetting. With the two together, it makes him realize just how different he and Henrietta are. He thought it could be different in Australia, but sees that moving to a new place hasn’t really changed societal rules.  Sam thinks the rest of the ball will be the same, and that he’ll be too out of his element or that he’ll embarrass himself. He decides to stay home.

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Sad and lonely

At the ball, Henrietta stuns everyone as they all adore her. And more importantly, Henrietta has a great time.

Under Capricorn Dining eating

Back at the house, Milly has returned.

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Milly asks for forgiveness and her job back but also starts talking smack about Henrietta. She tells Samson exaggerated stories of what has been going on between Henrietta and Charles. The two had shared only one kiss, and everything had been instigated by Charles. Milly, on the other hand, insists that Henrietta is the one that has been carrying on and that it has gone much, much further. To further push the issue and him, she tells him that Henrietta is of a different class than her and Samson, and those people do things non-aristocrats could never get away with.

you're evil

I mean seriously this girl is a major jerk.

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You just need to understand that he loves his wife and back the heck away from him. You- you-

wordICan't say Toy Story

At first Samson shrugs it off. Charles is younger than Henrietta and more concerned about clothing than anything else. But that evil woman Milly keeps pushing him, and when she mentions the differation in classes, that’s where he snaps.

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

Sam goes to the ball, makes a scene, and humiliates Henrietta in front of everyone

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She returns home, weeping and half-crazed.

Sad and lonely

Sad and lonely

Charles runs after her and tries to help her. He tells her to leave Sam, but Henrietta can’t. She tells Charles that she deeply loves her husband and is bound to him. You see, Sam didn’t shoot her brother, she did.

Say What

Yep, that’s right. Sam has never killed anyone. Henrietta fell in love with Sam as he was kind and handsome. Can you blame her? He’s one attractive man.

MeanGirls I know right!

The two wanted to marry, but it was impossible as Samson was a much lower class than Henrietta. So the ran off to England, but her brother followed them. Her brother tried to kill Samson, but missed and the two struggled. Henrietta took the gun and shot her brother so he wouldn’t kill Samson. Samson took the blame as he didn’t want her to suffer in  jail.

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Unfortunately, that didm’t actually help. Henrietta couldn’t stay at home, and couldn’t leave Samson by himself so she followed him to Australia. Not only has she been dealing with the guilt of killing her brother, but the guilt of allowing Samson to rot in prison for her deeds. To further this, when Samson came out of prison he was a changed person. This lead to even greater guilt and drove Henrietta to the bottle. No wonder she’s been going crazy.

Sad and lonely

Now even though Henrietta admits this to him, Charles doesn’t really believe her. He thinks it is just her way of trying to protect the man she loves.

When Samson sees Charles in his house with Henrietta, he becomes incensed  for the betrayal and kicks Charles out.

Under Capricorn

Charles steals Sam’s horse and takes off. While riding, the horse breaks its leg, causing Charles to have s a really bad fall. He reluctantly returns to the house and relays the news. Samson goes for his gun to “shoot the horse”, but Charles believes he is going to kill him, as he has “killed” before. The two struggle over the gun and during the conflict, Charles is shot.

Under Capricorn struggle gun

With Samson’s past, he is immediately thrown into prison, to either rot for good or be hanged. Henrietta tries to save him and tells the Attorney General the truth. That Samson has never killed anyone, she did it. This presents a serious problem for Samson. The only way he can get out of his predicament is if he corroborates Henrietta’s story, but then she will be sent back to Ireland to stand trial and imprisonment. If he says his wife is lying, then he will be killed. The Governor is really pushing a conviction as he wants someone to be punished for trying to harm his nephew. The AG gives Samson twenty-four hours to decide.

A no win situation

A no win situation

Back at the house the evil Milly sees the perfect oppurtunity to get Sam. She tries to poison Henrietta and plants a shrunken head on her bed to further scare her. Fortunately, she is discovered and ousted.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Meanwhile Charles has recovered from his wound and vouches for Samson, telling everyone that it was an accident.

Charles is put on a ship back to Ireland, and Samson and Henrietta are now happy. Henrietta has been freed from the poisonous Milly and finally from the guilt of what she did to her brother and Samson. Samson is better as he finally knows that Henrietta truly loves him and that he didn’t destroy her life.

Under Capricorn

All in all, this film really teaches you one thing:

let go past

Yep, sometimes you just need to move on.

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For to the previous post, go to Werewolves Roam Among Us.

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to Horrorfest III: The Revenge

For more on Joseph Cotten, go to You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?

For more on Ingrid Bergman, go to I’ll Always Be There When You Need Me

For more on the Victorian Period, go to Redone Done Right